US 'alienating' world's Muslims

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Zaid, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. Zaid macrumors 6502

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    #1
    A Pentagon advisory report warns that the US is losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world.

    linky:BBC


    The last two points are particularly interesting (if somewhat obvious).

    The US, like every other country in the world, conducts its foreign policy in order to secure or promote what it considers in its interests (or more correctly, the interests of its ruling class). The major difference being that the US wraps its foreign policy in considerably more diabetes-inducing candy-coated pseudo-altruistic verbiage than most other countries.

    That aside though, the important thing to realise here is that the US needs an urgent review of its foreign policy with regards to the middle east, not because it is the rightThing™, but because it is in its own interests to do so.

    The other thing that stood out for me was that the report pointed out that "Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies". What worries me is that (i assume) this report was meant to be read by descision makers etc. Do people at that level actually need that pointed out to them?
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    Since the man at the top keeps repeating that "they hate our freedoms", I would say the answer is a resounding "YES".
     
  3. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    True. Scary, but true.
     
  4. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    I am not sure if that statement is what Bush actually believes, or merely the way he wishes the phrase things for us humbled masses.

    As for Muslim sentiment against the US, I believe there are two reasons:

    1. That the US has handled things poorly and heavy-handedly. There are plenty of examples to back this up.

    2. As for the charges of Imperialism, it is difficult to say whether it is merely rhetoric or substantiated. I, of course, have my opinions, but at the same time, within such a chaotic time, people are bound to complain, which does not necessarily mean their point has merit.

    America is an easy target, and as we have discussed, it deserves a share of the blame for this undoubtably. Still, even if things had gone perfectly in Iraq post-Saddam, people would still complain, as no-one will be satisfied completely.

    Since Antiquity, what is Iraq has been three separate entities, the Assyrians (later Kurds) in the North, the Akkadians (later Sunnis after birth of Islam)in the center, and the Sumerians (later Shiites) in the South. There were also pockets of Persians (also Shiites). Under Ottoman Rule they were the provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra respectively. They all fought with each other in various webs of temporary alliances. Such is the character of the Region.

    Under such a scenario, there is bound to be chaos and blame placed liberally on "the other". For now, many can agree on the US being that "other", but so are the rival "factions" of Iraq. The difficulty this presents, now that these groups are no longer repressed, should have factored into the potential wisdom of a US intervention in the first place.

    The British should remember this well. Although they poured money, schoolteachers and technical know-how into Iraq, making it more economically and Politically dynamic, none of this erased the fundamental conflict between the interests of the three competing nationalisms, in fact it made them potentially more dangerous. I am sure many Iraqis resented British Intervention, despite the fact that the British aided immensely in development of Iraqi social and political sophistication.

    Still the fundamental fact that there has not been a reconciliation of these competing interests for thousands of years, implys that many people will be dissatisfied with the situation at hand, and be vocal (and active) about maximizing their advantage. As perhaps is neighboring Iran or the Islamic world in General.

    Just an idea...
     
  5. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I think that what many take issue with is the hypocrisy apparent in US foreign policy. Purporting to be champions of democracy and freedom, yet supporting often oppressive dictatorships in the muslim world.

    Sure there are internal rivalries within the muslim world but I would think that the animosity directed at the US is due to US foreign policy and actions (not only Iraq), not merely because they happen to be a convenient target.
     
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #6
    Yes, well of course, but I merely wanted to bring up the point that some of it is because we are a convenient target, as the most powerful Nation in the World (for now) and leader of the Western World.

    The word "Imperialism" is thrown around a lot, and I am not sure it is always appropriate. Many expect the most powerful Nations to take responsibility appropriate to their stature, yet only by their terms.

    All Nations with an active foreign policy are hypocritical, the US version is just so blunt and brutal.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not a supporter of US intervention in Iraq, or a "bullying" foreign policy in General.

    I just wanted to remind that battles are fought with words as well as missles, and everyone is armed. The result can be deafening and difficult to critique.
     
  7. Zaid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I'm not certain that I entirely agree.

    Sure the US gets flack, because they are the world superpower, where another country may not; even if their foreign policy was just as hypocritical. But as the world’s most powerful nation, the influence of US policy is more widespread.

    So i guess i partially agree: Yes the US gets more flack because they are the most powerful country in the world. But i don't think it is simply because they are an easy target, but rather that as the world’s most powerful nation the effects of their foreign policy are more likely to be felt. (i suspect i probably agree with you on this, I just feel that is often used as an excuse or a way to brush aside the anger directed at the US "they don't hate us because we've done anything wrong, they hate us because we are easy targets for their anger." - btw, i'm not accusing you of this)

    Also i don't think that the title "Leader of the Western World" is true anymore. You lot are by and large flying solo :)

    Imperialism is, i think, often appropriate. Intervening to set up friendly governments etc, are all part of setting up spheres of influence. A proxy empire if you will.

    Agreed on the last bit though.

    and wrapped up in a moralistic spin, that's makes it particularly unpalatable

    Didn't think so, or mean to imply that you were :)

    agreed
     
  8. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #8
    Do you think they really care? honestly? every action garners a reaction. Negative actions are more likely to create negative reactions, are they not? Why are we speaking as though this is a surprising development, our foreign policy has been anything but fair for more than just recent history.
     

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